TVNewser interviewed Tom Brokaw last week as he took part in a book event for his former “Today” show co-anchor Jane Pauley. In our interview, we asked about the sustainability of the three network evening newscasts. Brokaw said most people he talks to think Fox News host Bill O’Reilly “is the most popular guy in news.” Brokaw tells them that O’Reilly “would finish dead last” up against the evening newscasts.
Well, that was red meat for O’Reilly, and last night he responded in his “Talking Points Memo.”
“Dead last? Really? Me?,” said O’Reilly. Then he talked about how, yes, the evening newscasts do have a larger audience than his, but that’s because they “are on all TV sets in America, with low dial positions. Fox News, you have to pay for,” said O’Reilly, “You have to hunt for us, and thank God you do.”
“Tom Brokaw should be happy, overjoyed, thrilled, that cable news and ‘The Factor’ exists,” said O’Reilly, who invited Brokaw on the show to talk about his comments. “He shouldn’t be running us down. He should be amazed because we provide a voice you would never hear on the network news.”
Brokaw’s spokesperson tells TVNewser the NBC Newsman wouldn’t have been able to be on O’Reilly’s show yesterday, “due to an important personal commitment,” but that Brokaw “would like to appear on the show in the near future.” In fact, prior to O’Reilly’s comments NBC was working on alternative dates for him to appear.